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Tipbit receives $4M to make your phone an email superpower

iphone Valters Krontals Flickr

I sometimes hate my phone. The dang thing hamstrings me when it comes to tackling email. But startups like Tipbit are determined to change this.

Tipbit and its free iOS app stands a better chance of increasing the amount of work we can do with email on the go, having just received $4 million in new funding.

The announcement follows good news for other startups boosting email productivity on mobile devices, such as Acompli and Boxer (formerly known as Taskbox).

Startups integrating email with business apps like Salesforce.com have also gotten funding lately: ToutApp and Tylr Mobile.

Ignition Partners led Tipbit’s new round, and private investors also participated.

The new money will go toward hiring developers, designers, and product managers, according to a press release the startup issued today.

The new employees will work on the development of Tipbit apps for Android and, later, Windows Phone, a spokesperson said. Tipbit will also build services that companies can use if they want their employees on the Tipbit app.

It helps that cofounder and chief executive Gordon Mangione knows what chief information officers want. He worked as the corporate vice president on Microsoft’s Exchange business email service for five years. He’s heard from CIOs about their interest in adding audit, authorization, and de-authorization capabilities for external email services like Tipbit, he said in an interview with VentureBeat.

Tipbit’s app pushes email into Salesforce and other popular cloud-based services, like Box, Dropbox, and Evernote.

“Automating those tasks is critically important,” Mangione said.

But if Tipbit can incorporate more valuable data into the app — like the history of a sales relationships from Salesforce — that’s when it can become even more powerful, and that’s when CIOs would really like the capability to turn access on and off.

Currently, when you tap on a contact’s name on Tipbit, it shows you publicly available information from the person’s social media profiles. It also shows you previous meetings with a contact.

As you search through email, you can add filters for people, a date range, and other characteristics. What’s more, it’s easy to search Google for more information on people from within the app, so you don’t have to jump back and forth between Tipbit and a browser.

The app can work with the IMAP email protocol, which means you can use services like Gmail and Yahoo as well as the ActiveSync protocol for Microsoft Exchange.

Tipbit, started in 2011 and is based in Bellevue, Wash. To date it has raised $6.5 million. The startup has six employees now, and the new funding will bring that number up to 20.

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